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Semi-detached roofing

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Semi-detached roofing

Postby Albert » Fri Jun 10, 2016 8:45 am

Two semi-detached houses, No1 and No2.

Owner No1 employs a roofer to reslate his roof. Not a good job carried out and, as well as other problems at No1 due to poor workmanship by the roofer, there is now a problem at the roof join between No1 and No2, causing problems for No2.

Owner at No1 is having problems bringing the roofer back to carry out remedial work, and advises owner at No2 to contact the roofer directly regarding his problem. Other than giving an excuse of being busy, roofer does not appear to want to do anything.

Should the owner No2 continue to pursue the matter with the roofer, or just pursue the matter against his neighbour the owner No1.
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Re: Semi-detached roofing

Postby atticus » Fri Jun 10, 2016 11:41 am

Claim on your insurance. It will be a lot simpler.

I think that the likelihood is that your claim is against the roofer; the neighbour is likely to have a good defence that the work was done by an independent contractor, and that he has no liability to you.
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Re: Semi-detached roofing

Postby Hairyloon » Sat Jun 11, 2016 2:13 am

atticus wrote:Claim on your insurance. It will be a lot simpler.

Good advice...

I think that the likelihood is that your claim is against the roofer; the neighbour is likely to have a good defence that the work was done by an independent contractor, and that he has no liability to you.

Surely one has to take some responsibility for the workmen one engages?
What if the roofer is unknown to the victim and the neighbour won't reveal his identity? Clearly he would have to reveal the identity as evidence in his defence, but that appears to suggest that No2 would have to go to court and lose against the wrong person in order to find out the right person.
That may be how things work, but if it is then it is daft.
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Re: Semi-detached roofing

Postby atticus » Sat Jun 11, 2016 7:29 am

Mr Swarbrick's fine case law site offers numerous case summaries relating to the independent contractor principle, including the more modern House of Lords decision D&F Estates v Church Commissioners.

A person who defends a case pleading that he engaged an independent contractor but refuses to identify that independent contractor will fail to prove his defence.
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Re: Semi-detached roofing

Postby Hairyloon » Sat Jun 11, 2016 9:50 am

atticus wrote:A person who defends a case pleading that he engaged an independent contractor but refuses to identify that independent contractor will fail to prove his defence.

Obviously, but a person who doesn't reveal that identity until he presents his defence has cost his opponent a full set of court fees and associated costs.
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Re: Semi-detached roofing

Postby atticus » Sat Jun 11, 2016 11:39 am

And is liable to be ordered to pay those costs.
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Re: Semi-detached roofing

Postby Hairyloon » Sat Jun 11, 2016 12:12 pm

atticus wrote:And is liable to be ordered to pay those costs.

Is he? I did not know you could be ordered to pay costs when you win your case.
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Re: Semi-detached roofing

Postby atticus » Sat Jun 11, 2016 4:43 pm

Now you do.

If the disclosure had been made at the outset, this court case need not have ensued.
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Re: Semi-detached roofing

Postby Hairyloon » Sat Jun 11, 2016 4:59 pm

atticus wrote:Now you do.

I do. Thank you.
If the disclosure had been made at the outset, this court case need not have ensued.

Clearly so, but what is the general rule here, about awarding costs to the loser?
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Re: Semi-detached roofing

Postby atticus » Sat Jun 11, 2016 5:14 pm

In a situation like this it's about conduct, and whether costs could have been avoided. Judges have very wide discretion.
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